Why Are You A Christian?

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45 Responses

  1. dswoager says:

    This is similar to a conversation that comes up from time to time on my facebook feed. A friend’s father will point to a distinction in semantics that he makes between being a Christian or a follower/believer in Christ. I think it stems from an idea I seem to remember from “Mere Christianity” that the word has been so loaded with extra meaning that it has been robbed of being a truly meaningful description.

    I can see his point, and often use similar reasoning for the word “church”, but I find it much harder to un-identify with the word Christian as it identifies my allegiance with the one that has saved me… even if the world applies a different connotation.

  2. Paige says:

    Why?
    I honestly don’t know.
    I sure didn’t do anything….
    HE called me, irresistibly at the age of 20, a total flesh-indulged pagan.
    His Spirit has kept my eyes on Him all these 44 years.
    Life has not been a cake walk,
    He is Faithful.
    My hope is built on nothing less…..

  3. Michael says:

    Paige,

    It’s a tougher question then it sounds like at first listen, isn’t it?

    He gave me faith…that’s about all I know.

  4. Michael says:

    dswoager,

    There is no small difference between cultural Christianity and following Christ…we have to parse it by how we live.

  5. Laura Scott says:

    When I was in the deepest pit of my life, He came. He did not condemn, He came to restore.

    That was the richest and most intoxicating love I had ever experienced.

    Since then, I have not ever had the desire to be away from it.

  6. Before answering, I would make him define the word Christian. I have seen too many times that people have this image of Christians to which I would answer, “I am not a Christian.”

  7. ( |o )====::: says:

    I am a follower of Jesus because He presents God in such a way as to make Him completely accessible to anyone at any time, no priests, no sacraments, no prayer beads, no veneration of the host, no veneration of Mary, saints or pastors, just Jesus, Who has paid the price and torn the curtain that blocked everyone’s access to the mercy seat… Jesus, Who tells the story of His Father being like a dad who runs, not caring what others think of him, to welcome, embrace and celebrate one of his wayward children while patiently enduring and never forsaking another proud & privileged child who thinks he’s “all that” because he never went astray like his “loser” sibling.

  8. Michael says:

    I think the answers today will be valuable.

    I like them so far… 🙂

  9. Ixtlan says:

    You could say I was drafted too. I grew up in church, a very politically,culturally and biblically conservative church. I had to find God outside of that realm. It took awhile but I realized I had to find God on His terms, not my own. People are for the most part, the same, whether they are saved or not. They love you when you agree with them and want to fix you or burn you at the stake when you don’t. Christ alone rises above all that, and He calls us to remain in the mix of His work. As difficult as it can be, it’s much better than being on the outside looking in.

  10. Michael says:

    MLD,

    What is the image you’re referring to…and how would you answer the question?

  11. Michael says:

    Ixtlan,

    Well said…

  12. Steve Wright says:

    One word..

    Truth

    If truth were found elsewhere, I would be elsewhere

  13. Stephanie says:

    On the one hand, I’ve always felt chosen by God, but…on the other hand, I’ve always felt I chose Him, too.

    I’ve felt God’s presence and love more at the most sinful time of my life, as a believer, no less. Who else loves me like that?

    ^^^ That’s why.

  14. Alex says:

    I don’t know if I’m an “official” Christian…so many flavors and I’ve been told I’m a heathen by many of the Christian sects out there for an incorrect view of one particular doctrine or another or for not professing 100% certainty in it all or for confronting abuse in the church or for agreeing with secularists on some issues or for not casting Mormons/LDS into hell etc.

    What I do know is that I believe in the likelihood of the existence of “God” in whatever form…I do not claim to know. for sure..I don’t know if God has a rear-end and the male genitals or if God is spirit w/o human body, some sort of force of the Universe/Multi-verse, some sort of entity we cannot grasp with our human context.

    I know that Jesus Christ or Chrestos or Christus likely walked the planet as a human as established by the bible and other historical extent writings from Jewish and Roman historians.

    I believe that Jesus could very well be who he said he was, the “Messiah”…and I believe that is the God narrative is true and real, then the Jesus narrative of the Gospel could be real and that Jesus may have truly paid the price for “all” sin….every sin…and truly may have paid the price for the whole of God’s creation.

    I believe that the Ideals and Truths Jesus laid out in the writings attributed to him as his words ring very true with my Conscience/spirit.

    Love your neighbor. Do unto others. Help the powerless vs. the powerful. Help the widow and orphan. Do what is right and good. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control are all “good” and of the spirit of God “the good”…while anger, jealousy, covetousness, lust, greed, lying etc are “bad”.

    I am a Christian b/c I think that in some form Christianity represents the “Good” in humanity and Jesus is that ultimate personification of the Good.

    …while accepting that Christians and Christianity is deeply flawed b/c of our humanness and recognizing the fact that mankind has a dual nature of good and evil in one sack of human flesh and skin.

  15. Michael says:

    Steve,

    “Truth” was one of the things I thought of…but truth alone doesn’t cut it for me.
    There has to be a personification of that truth for me to grasp it.

    I revere truth tellers…J.I. Packer and Charles Bowden are my heroes, but there is so much more.

    There is mystery I get willingly lost in.

    I’m not sure what it means to feel the love of God…but I have no doubt that the experiential knowing of it makes perfect sense to others.

  16. Michael,
    Well, if the person asking the question sees ‘christians’ as mini Pat Robertsons or faded memories of his childhood nuns – then I am not a Christian

  17. papiaslogia says:

    “Why are you a Christian?”

    I am a Christian because I believe that Jesus died for MY sins.

    I wish that I had something more profound to say, but that’s it for now. 🙂

  18. Michael says:

    MLD,

    My friend is younger, well read, and well educated.
    He views Christians as followers of Franklin Graham…highly politicized people who claim that their authority comes from a questionable book and who are always angry about things he’s not angry about.
    He identifies Christianity more as a political viewpoint, than a faith for the most part.
    It was an interesting conversation because he was stunned that I don’t share some of those views.
    No one under 70 watches Pat Robertson anymore. 🙂

  19. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, The personification of truth is Jesus – making the Gospel of John such a great read, especially for the unbeliever..

    A quick concordance search shows over 20 uses of ‘truth’ in that gospel alone. And almost all are direct references to Jesus and what He brings/shows/is.

    To repeat, if truth were found outside of Jesus, I would be outside of Jesus. Jesus was not simply a truth-teller, but He is the embodiment of truth.

  20. Jim says:

    For the crowd here, the answer is simple. Because I was chosen in Him before the foundation of the earth. I can’t answer any ‘whys’ beyond that.

    To my neighbors, I self-identify as a believer.

  21. J.U. says:

    Any good discussion or debate must begin with a definition of terms. I’m not fond of the word “Christian” because it comes to close to meaning “religion.” Don’t get me wrong. I love my church and the people in it. But religion, to me, means the poor attempt of imperfect men and women to institutionalize their faith. All religion is flawed because all men are flawed.

    These flaws are a common subject of discussion on this very blog.

    I prefer to explain my “belief” or “faith.”

    “OK then, what do you believe?”

    I believe in the word of God. I believe it is true as well as useful. From that word I learned of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, and what He did for me. That word led to my belief.

    “So it is just a book that you believe?”

    No, it isn’t just the book. It is my experiences. Both what I’ve seen, mostly in others, and what I have felt in myself. I first came to Christ by the witness of a fine person. She didn’t tell me about it. She lived it. I saw that and I wanted some.

    I think I found it. It literally changed my life. Oh, not overnight, it was and continues to be a long process. But this belief (and I think the assistance of the Holy Spirit) has brought me up out of a pit. The pit of my former life.

    Now I’m not rich. And my body and my bones ache. But His spirit is in me and I try to live my life every day to show that to others. I don’t always succeed. In fact, I rarely succeed. But I try.

    Any explanation beyond that has to become supernatural, and that is not something you can describe in words.

    However, Christians don’t give up the ability to think and reason and become zombies following a god with chants and holy readings and supernatural events. We are thinking and reasoning people, and our faith is reasonable and thoughtful. That too I believe.

    I just hope that the person who asks me if I am a “Christian,” is asking because he or she wants to have what I have. I pray that, every day, I may be an example to others of what a great thing my belief and faith are. This belief, and “something” has worked miracles in my life. I’ve seen it in others too.

  22. Michael says:

    J.U.,

    That was very well said…

    Steve,

    I concur… 🙂

  23. Nonnie says:

    I am. Christian because I have realised, “to whom would I go ? Jesus alone has the words of eternal life.” I am His… All by His grace. He keeps me and holds me. I rest in the finished work of Christ.

  24. dswoager says:

    Michael, the impression that your friend has is one of the reasons that I think that it is important that we not distance ourselves from the name “Christian”, but be available to distance people who tarnish the name of Christ from that description.

    It’s like that article you linked a little while back, when do we have to point out that Christianity is Unchristian? It is difficult to fight against a bad perception that has built up in the world, but it is also an opportunity to set people straight on who Jesus is.

  25. Neo says:

    Interesting post:

    I have asked this question of myself in recent days more than any other time of my life.

    God knows I’ve suffered. We all have suffered. But the present suffering have been more than I can handle. I laugh. Not out of faith. Not out of hope. But the kind that cannot believe one more thing can be piled upon another.

    Then I laugh. At God’s sovereign grace. That he chose me. That I am a viable substitute for a rock or a tree in His sight. I laugh at how good He has been to me as well as how hard He has been on me.

    That is why I choose Grace. I neither take credit for undeserved blessing, Nor blame for unexplained suffering. It deals with both of those in my thinking.

    So why am I a Christian?

    Grace.

  26. Neo says:

    …thanks for the chance to vent. 🙂

  27. Michael says:

    Nonnie,

    Amen…

    dswoager,

    It’s funny, we were talking about immigration issues and as is my habit, I went off on a 20 minute lecture on the subject.
    It was not the view he associated with “Christians” so he was quite taken aback..

  28. Michael says:

    Neo,

    You’re welcome. 🙂

  29. Alex says:

    I agree with the position that if God is real and if the Jesus/Gospel narrative is real and true…then anyone who is saved will be b/c of “grace” as defined as some sort of unilateral operation of “God” and the universe…not something you can really “do” or “believe correctly”

    So, my hope is that somehow, eventually…now or in the next stage or dimension of reality…all will be redeemed in a process we don’t and can’t understand b/c we have such limited info.

  30. Alex says:

    …and even more limited capacity to correctly understand something that even bible literalists agree makes no sense, is “spiritual”, is some sort of “miracle” and supernatural and not able to be seen and not of this physical world etc.

  31. Alex – there is more to it than not understanding properly – there is actually a war that man is waging against God to this very day. War that is instigated by the very nature of mankind. God has already settled and made peace and some have accepted the terms of this ‘peace treaty” which is all one sided.

    Many / Most still battle God .. openly reject God and his offer for peace -and i do think they understand – but that is not enough they are like Satan and his followers(well, technically they are his followers) – not only reject the free gift but piss on it.

    Many Mormons and evangelicals show how they reject God’s plan of salvation with their creed “I will do my best and God will do the rest.” A total rejection of God right there. (and those are the nice ones.)

  32. Alex says:

    Well, then I’m an MLD-certified Christian because I want no war with God and have no beef with God or Jesus….just his man-skinned emissaries who say they are acting and speaking on his behalf.

  33. .just his man-skinned emissaries who say they are acting and speaking on his behalf.

    Well, since there are no prophets today, I have no idea who you would be talking about.

    It’s here in a nutshell – this is all that anyone claiming to speak for God should be saying. 2 Cor 5:18-21
    “18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling[c] the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

    As I have often simplified in the past “God is no longer mad at you. Stop being mad at God.”

  34. Alex says:

    I’m not mad at God or Jesus, so I guess I’m in in the Lutheran heaven 🙂

  35. Alex says:

    ….but if Luther and MLD are in that heaven…maybe it is a hell? 🙂

  36. Alex says:

    If we end up in Lutheran heaven together…..we’d have all of eternity to finish an argument 🙂

  37. Ps 40 says:

    Cause I’ve consistently needed savin’, and Jesus has remained the only One up to that task. And in that process–I’ve become quite smitten with His person . 35 years into my saving and only one fear still grips me like none other: waking up apart from Him.-being apart from Him in any way. So in faith—I’m determined to keep on seeking Him out. and I’m FULLY trusting Him to keep me HIS.

  38. Alex,
    “so I guess I’m in in the Lutheran heaven”
    Lutheran is a synonym for Christian. 🙂

  39. Babylon's Dread says:

    I am a Christian because when I called upon him, he answered. I am a Christian because he forgave my sin gave me life in the Holy Spirit took away the bitter hatred that dominated my life and gave me a reason to live. I can no more not be a Christian than I can not be the son of the one who bore me. I am in his family. Being convinced did not do it being loved did it, being forgiven did it.

    I also love his crazy smelly messed up family… All day long I have dealt with nasty ugly silly ridiculous problems from that family. Nothing they can do will put me out of the family either. They are stuck with weird uncle me.

  40. I find myself resonating with the words of Peter at the conclusion of John 6: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

  41. Charles says:

    Not sure anymore, my roots were Catholic, eight years of school and Sacraments, got married ,wife didn’t like Catholics, kinda forced me into Protestantism. Started reading the bible, started making sense felt His presence in my heart, started following Him, but after reading about how these people who prey on us for money , I just don’t know man… need some time to think it out.

  42. Charles – the people who prey on the weak aren’t Bible characters. The salvation story is not about them – so they shouldn’t shake your faith. Don’t look to them, look at Jesus.

    I will walk that back a bit – they are Bible characters in part – they are the ones we see burning in hell. 🙂

  43. Surfer51 says:

    What was it that first caused you to become a Christian?

    Think about it.

    What turned your life around?

    What was it that so motivated you that you were energized and enlightened when you first believed?

    http://shekinahfellowship.blogspot.com/2015/01/proclaim-him-lord.html

  44. mike says:

    Why I am a Christian gets more complicated and simple at the same time the more years I have on earth.
    Not sure I can be so sure about anything any more. Sorry if that fails to satisfy the question.
    -mike

  45. Linda Pappas says:

    ” John 6: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

    and as Steve Wright narrowed it down to one Word: Truth.

    I love God more than life itself, although I might cling to it to find some redeeming value or purpose in still being here, I also hope with all that is in me, that soon I would be with Him. The world has nothing for me that I desire, so much that I would ever turn my heart away from Him. He alone, and I mean this with all that is within me, have only proven to me when the day is done and the lights are out, it is Him that cares enough to see me in the morning, carries me through the day, and then abides with me when I am sleeping.

    If I were talking with a person face to face, I would share as much as they were willing to hear the many, many experiences I have had that have kept me in His Arms and not in the arms of those who would have destroyed me along the way. I would share of the many places I have been and the things seen and the people I have known and the work He has done through it all. Why else would I be a Christian. Anything else, I might have been was another lifetime ago, as though it was never apart of me. But not so long ago, that I am not warned nor ignorant of the fall that could take place should I look to long at that which my heart once desired before coming to the feet of Him who picked me up, washed me clean, and led me like a child, close to His bosom.

    What fellowship would I have with the deeds and the fellowship of those in bondage to darkness, other than to bear a testimony of Him, no matter the cost?

    I am His, and He is mine. He is in me and I am in Him

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